Content is major challenge for enterprises. But too often, enterprises believe that more content is the solution. It's not.
Enterprise marketers are faced with juggling multiple marketing channels, from social media to email marketing, lead generation campaigns, and more, all of which rely on effective, relevant content to capture and nurture leads through the buying journey, at every touch point.
Enterprise marketers have been grappling with content challenges for years as a result, struggling to produce content that converts, producing enough content, and producing the variety of content necessary for engaging the various buyer personas that an enterprise targets for different products and services.
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Content Challenges Abound for Enterprise Marketers
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, 60 percent of B2B marketers cite producing engaging content as a top challenge.
Almost as many (57 percent) say that measuring content effectiveness is a major challenge, as well as producing content consistently.
Other challenges named by B2B marketers as key challenges include measuring the ROI of a content marketing program (52 percent), lack of a sufficient content budget (35 percent), and producing a variety of content (35 percent).
Faced with these concerns, it’s challenging for enterprise marketers to stay on top of the content necessary for the marketing end of the buying cycle, let alone adequately meeting the content needs of the sales team.
These top challenges lead to several priorities cited by B2B marketers in the same survey, including:
- Creating more engaging content (72 percent)
- Gaining a better understanding of what content is most and least effective (65 percent)
- Finding more effective ways to repurpose existing content (57 percent)
- Creating visual content (51 percent)
- Honing their storytelling skills (41 percent)
- Gaining a deeper understanding of the audience (41 percent)
Data, of course, is the key to achieving many of these goals. You need data to measure the effectiveness of your content, data to drive critical decisions about what content to produce for what channels, and data to gain deeper audience insights.
According to a February 2014 report from MindMetre, information overload isn’t the problem; content intelligence is.
Enterprises Need Content Intelligence to Fully Understand the Value of Knowledge Assets
Specifically, the concept of “Big Content” has emerged as a buzz word that describes the need to incorporate unstructured content into the larger puzzle of Big Data in meaningful ways.
“Such incorporation is achieved by making that unstructured content searchable and findable, be it emails, documents, plans, presentations, images, technical descriptions, research findings, field notes, sales contact management comments, social media participation, or any other data that is not preorganized into database fields,” the report explains. "This is becoming known as Content Intelligence."
"Few corporations, either in the public or private sector, yet understand the sheer richness of the ‘knowledge assets’ that they hold; even fewer can yet access that knowledge and deploy it to gain competitive advantage, operational excellence or improved public service delivery.”
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ECM Solutions Aid Enterprise Marketers But Fail in Solving Findability Challenges
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions enable enterprise marketers to overcome some of the challenges associated with the increasing volume of content they must produce, distribute, repurpose, and manage across the enterprise and throughout the buying cycle.
Such solutions provide tools including workflow management, document management, and collaboration, but alone, ECM tools fall short of overcoming the content challenges facing enterprise marketers today.
While many ECM tools are robust, a clear strategy is necessary for enterprise marketers to realize the full benefits of modern solutions designed to support the content management process across an enterprise.
The truth is that ECM is only as good as the information in it, and in many cases, a very small portion of an enterprise’s assets actually ever find their way into an ECM.
ECM solutions may also fall short in solving findability problems.
For instance, the user may have a different approach to relevance than the platform, leading to search results far removed from the user’s intent.
This demands that users have a deep understanding of how to construct search phrases in order to produce desirable results, which ends up being a terribly inefficient process.
The end result, in some instances, is that users will simply resort to reproducing assets that already exist within the enterprise, compounding the content volume problem while simultaneously hindering productivity.
In the short term, it’s easier to simply recreate content than it is to track down assets that are not easily discoverable in an ECM or aren’t stored in the ECM at all.
Findability is the Key to Rapid Discovery of Authoritative Content
APQC’s Connecting People to Content study finds that the most effective enterprises, “have distinct publishing channels for different types of enterprise content.”
This process enables the seamless sharing of basic tips, suggestions, and informal processes among employees, while also providing easy access to vetted content that is produced by subject-matter experts and approved for use for various circumstances.
These clearly defined processes are most functional when paired with a central enterprise content repository, or an enterprise search platform that connects with the multiple content repositories most enterprises make use of.
A comprehensive, centralized search platform means content is discoverable throughout the enterprise regardless of where it is stored, when it was created, or how it is used.
Tagging, approvals, and content analytics enhance this ability by enabling the rapid identification of the most effective content for a particular situation, the most recent content created for a specific purpose, or the content in a specific format that has been approved for use.
The result? Massive increases in productivity across every member of your team relying on knowledge assets.
Content is an ongoing challenge for enterprises. But too often, enterprises believe that their problems center on the need to create more content or recreate assets from scratch for specific marketing or sales scenarios, when improved findability and better use of data can overcome several of these key challenges by empowering organizations to get more leverage out of every content asset produced across the enterprise.